You don’t have to be Don Draper to realize that timing is everything in advertising. For most products there is a season, a time of year when they are in highest demand. Snow blowers and shovels don’t sell as well in summer months. Gym memberships spike in January. To successfully plan media, understanding demand fluctuations in your business and industry is vital. If you are working with a limited ad budget, and most of us are, knowing when to buy can also save you from wasting lots of money. Find the scheduling alternative that works when your product is in demand. Three primary scheduling methods media planners use are: continuity, flight, and pulse scheduling.
- Continuity: Divide annual media budget by 12 and spend an even amount each month on ads.
- PRO: Constant exposure
- CON: Dividing your budget by 12 can leave very little to spend each month.
- USE THIS IF YOU: Have a non-seasonal product, a large budget, or to build awareness
- Flight: Spend more in some months and opt not to spend anything in other months.
- PRO: No more wasting money in months where there is no business
- CON: Out of sight, out of mind. You run the risk of customers forgetting you.
- USE: If you have seasonal products, promotions that only occur a few times a year, or annual or irregularly timed events like elections or the Olympics.
- Pulse: A hybrid of the continuity and flight schedules; vary monthly spending by demand.
- PRO: Spend less in slow months and more in busier months. Coverage at all times.
- CON: Inconsistent spending
- USE: For services like accounting which spikes during tax months but is used year round
Scheduling media buys for the times when your product is consumed most will boost ROI, add value and make your advertising even more awesome!